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Fresh criticism of World Cup stadium preparations

Friday, May 30, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke on Wednesday voiced fresh criticism of Brazil's World Cup preparations by indicating the northeastern venue of Natal had work to do to be ready for the event starting on June 12.

"Race against the clock. Still lots to be done for World Cup fans and media," Valcke wrote on Twitter after visiting the host stadium in the city, posting a picture showing long rows of skeletal stands waiting to have seats installed.

"We need full commitment from all parties in Natal to ensure all will be in place & tested prior to #MEXCMR on 13/06," when the Dunas Arena will host its first match between Mexico and Cameroon.

Work on the new stadiums for the tournament has been plagued by delays, cost overruns and construction accidents that have killed eight workers. Four of the venues are still unfinished.

Valcke accompanied Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to the venue's inauguration on January 22.

It was the first of those six venues not used at last year's Confederations Cup to be inaugurated.

A May 4 test comprising a second division game before a 10,000 crowd showed neither the VIP boxes section nor the access areas to the ground had been finished, local media highlighted at the time.

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